Christopher Creek will soon say so long to a couple that are leaving after 40 years. Pam and Mel Milhon will be moving to the Valley at the end of the month to live near their daughter. All of us who have known them through all these years wish them the best in their new adventure.

Tonto National Forest officials have recently lifted a campfire lid on the area around the Creek. This comes after the longest period of restrictions in recent memory.

This follows Gila County’s mid-September lessening of restrictions for private property owners. That policy change comes following years of disgruntlement over the inability of cabin owners to enjoy the same campfire freedoms as allowed in supervised campgrounds. Then, too, we note that personnel manning the area lookout towers have just recently been released from their duties during this long fire season.

An inch of rain in October and seven-tenths of an inch thus far in November has done little to alleviate the conditions that brought the lengthy fire restrictions. The reduced threat seems to have come from the reduction of the numbers of campers from the record seasonal highs of July, August and September.

With less than six weeks left in 2020, our year-to-date rainfall total is at 16.78 inches or under 60% of normal. Along with that, extraordinary temperatures persisted into late November with a high of 75 degrees in Christopher Creek last Monday.

A while back, we enjoyed dinner at Creekside with Gregg Kuntz. Gregg has had a rough year, having lost his wife, Becky, and then just recently his friend of 50 years. The ribs were great as was the conversation. Thanks, Gregg.

One of the employees at Creekside is a young Payson school teacher. She tells us she is soon to be married and seems to love the fact that her name will then be Nicki Nichols.

The spectacular holiday lighting display at the Creekside Restaurant and Cabins is a nighttime wonderland and certainly worth the visit. Jay Fitzgibbons has been instrumental in this accomplishment, including climbing 70 feet up the ponderosa pines to light them up. While you are at it, check out the Thanksgiving menu.

We have also noticed a flurry of activity across from Creekside on the hill. That property was once a part of the Grey Hackle and was recently obtained by James Haviland and his associate.

Last Monday’s monthly Christopher/Kohl’s Fire board meeting was highlighted by the installation of officers. Board president Ron Kotnik swore in Karen Thornton, Larry Hannum and Steve Sundra.

The monthly luncheon with the Wildflowers was at the casino restaurant. While attendance was low, the conversation was lengthy. Dining with me were Jeannie Moore and Margot Holmes, with Darla Harger and Lorrie Levac joining in when they were available.

Christopher Creek HOA volunteers will be out decorating the Loop for the holidays tomorrow morning, Nov. 21. President John Turtchin says showing up at 10 a.m. would be fine if you wish to join in.

Recent weekend visitors in the Creek were a trio of runaway moms. John Huesman had been off hunting for two weeks, so Ashley left him in charge of their four kids for the weekend. She and two other young mothers, Jessica, who has a son, and Julie, who has three kids, abandoned all their responsibilities for the weekend. The three massage therapists stopped by to visit three times on Friday and Saturday evenings. On two occasions they came bearing food. That was some awesome chili, Julie.

Santa is sad. We recently learned he would not be the guest of honor at the kids’ Christmas party this year. He is sad that he will not get to see one of his favorites, Spencer. Or Stetson. Or Faith. He is sad that this year was to be Lizzie’s first visit and Ivory was to be an elf. But, he hopes to see some of the kids following the Carts and Quads Light Parade on Dec. 12. Josh, Samone and the Landmark staff will host the after party ... and that’s another week in the Creek.

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